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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:40
Russian Navy to Get New Missile Systems Next Year

MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti)


The Russian navy will receive new advanced surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems next year, a defense industry executive said Monday.


Shtil vertical-launch modular air-defense systems are designed for a series of six Project 11356 frigates now under construction, and can effectively engage any existing and future combat aircraft, Maxim Kuzyuk, general director of the Aviatsionnoye Oborudovaniye (Aircraft Equipment) holding, told RIA Novosti.


One of the system’s principal features is its high firing rate: It fires missiles every two seconds, he said, adding that each module consists of 12 missiles.


“We are planning to deliver six Shtil SAM complexes for [Project 11356] ships before 2016,” Kuzyuk said.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
US, South Korea and Allies Should Prepare for Eventual Collapse of North Korea

September 23rd, 2013 By RAND  - defencetalk.com


Like the collapse of East Germany, the collapse of North Korea could occur suddenly and with little warning. But a North Korean collapse could be far more dangerous and disastrous than the actual collapse of East Germany, especially given the inadequate preparations for it, according to a new RAND Corporation report.


The current North Korean government, led by Kim Jong Un, has showed signs of instability for some time and most experts agree that a collapse is likely. It is more a matter of “when” than “if” it will occur, says Bruce Bennett, the study’s author and a senior defense analyst at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.


The study describes many of the possible consequences of a North Korean government collapse, including civil war in the North, a humanitarian crisis, the potential use and proliferation of the nation’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and even war with China.


Failure to establish stability in North Korea could disrupt the political and economic conditions in Northeast Asia and leave a serious power vacuum for a decade or longer, Bennett said.


The study examines ways of controlling and mitigating the consequences of a North Korean government collapse, recognizing that the Republic of Korea and the United States almost certainly will need to intervene in the North, even if only to deliver humanitarian aid. They will likely seek Korean unification as the ultimate outcome.


Preparation is required because the situation in North Korean could deteriorate rapidly. Food and medicine already are in short supply, and a collapse would lead to hoarding that would leave many people starving. A simultaneous deterioration in internal security could force people to leave their homes, making it even more difficult to deliver humanitarian aid.


The Republic of Korea and the United States must be prepared to rapidly deliver food supplies throughout all of North Korea, Bennett said. Prompt delivery requires preparing stockpiles of food and practicing delivery methods.


The nations also must also be prepared to quickly achieve a degree of stability and security in the North. This requires co-opting North Korea military and security service personnel. A failure to do so would lead to military battles with North Korean forces and a defection of some of those forces to insurgency or criminal activities, which could disrupt local security for years and perhaps even frustrate unification.


The North Korean personnel must be convinced that they will be treated well and can achieve better lives after unification. Already, information is leaking into North Korea that challenges the regime’s propaganda claiming that people in the Republic of Korea lead lives that are even worse than people in the North.


North Korean troops also pose a serious threat in the potential use of weapons of mass destruction. These weapons appear to be dispersed among a large number of facilities, at least some of which have not been identified, making it difficult to quickly eliminate the threat. Prompt, prepared action is more likely to secure much of the weapons of mass destruction, especially with Chinese help.


Potential Chinese intervention also must be addressed, ideally leading to cooperation with forces from the Republic of Korea and the United States. A North Korea collapse would heighten Chinese fears of both a massive influx of North Korean refugees and U.S. intervention into an area directly adjoining China’s border.


China recognizes that the United States will want to promptly reach the North Korean weapons of mass destruction sites north of Pyongyang to prevent their use or proliferation. This U.S. interest could force China to seek to secure these facilities before the United States does.


China also may try to create a buffer zone inside North Korea to contain the refugees and prevent them from reaching China, where there are large pockets of ethnic Koreans. North Korean ports on the East Sea and North Korea’s mineral wealth are other economic targets China will want to secure. The Republic of Korea also has concerns that if China intervenes in North Korea, it might not be reversible, and China may end up annexing some significant portion of the North.


China has been reluctant to discuss the possibility of a North Korean collapse, for fear of appearing disloyal to its ally and adding to the stability problems in North Korea. But some Chinese attitudes are changing, opening new opportunities for dialogue, according to the RAND report.


A final concern is the military capabilities of the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea’s army will be reduced from its current size of 22 active-duty divisions to approximately 12 by 2022 because of very low birthrates. Action must be taken to curb these reductions and compensate for the loss through measures such as building the capabilities of the reserve forces.


Full Report in PDF format: U.S., Republic of Korea and Allies Should Prepare for Eventual Collapse of North Korean Government (51)


Research for the report was sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation and was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division. The National Security Research Division conducts research and analysis on defense and national security topics for the U.S. and allied defense, foreign policy, homeland security and intelligence communities and foundations and other nongovernmental organizations that support defense and national security analysis.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
Six killed in US drone strike in Pakistan: officials

Sept 22, 2013 spacewar.com (AFP)


Miranshah, Pakistan - At least six people were killed in a US drone strike on a militant compound in a northwestern Pakistani tribal area on Sunday, officials said.


The attack took place in Shawal , about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, along the Afghan border.


"US drones fired four missiles into a militant compound. At least six militants were killed and three others were wounded," a security official told AFP.


A second security official confirmed the attack and death toll.


The officials said the identities of those killed were not yet clear.


Pakistan's foreign ministry said it "strongly" condemned the drone attack.


"These unilateral strikes are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan has repeatedly emphasised the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes," it said in a statement.


US drone attacks are deeply unpopular in Pakistan but Washington views them as a vital tool in the fight against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.


The Pakistani government has repeatedly protested against the strikes and there has been a recent decrease in their use.


During a visit to Islamabad at the start of August, US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that drone strikes targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan could end "very soon" as the threat of militancy recedes.


According to an AFP tally there were 101 attacks in 2010, killing more than 670 people, compared with just 19 so far this year, killing just over 100 people.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:35
Rosoboronexport to supply Tor and Pantsir to India

September 23rd, 2013 Rosoboronexport


India is going to buy more than fifty short range air defense systems


India has announce a tender to buy more than fifty short range air defense systems. Rosoboronexport probably will submit two Russian systems – Tor-M2E manufactured by PVO Almaz-Antei and the surface-to-air missile system Pantsir-S1.


India already has air defense systems that was supplied by the Soviet Union and later on by Russia. Indian army employs the earlier counterpart of Pantsir which is called Tunguska. The army also has medium range air defense systems S-75 and short range air defense systems S-125, Kvadrat air defense systems which serves as a basis for India’s own improved surface-to-air missile system called Akash.


“India knows how to use Soviet and Russian air defense systems and they will quickly get the hang of the new systems. Of course there was a period when Israeli manufacturers cooperated with Indian military forces and nowadays supply them with short and medium range air defense systems both for Indian navy and land forces. On the other hand Russia offers the cutting edge systems which have already been tested both in Russian army and in other armies as well. Pantsir combines in itself capabilities of a quick-firing long-range missile”, said Said Aminov, editor in chief of Vestnik PVO web-site.


The range of action of Pantsir is 20 km. This characteristic makes Pantsir a one-off system. Nowadays we have made four contracts with Middle East and North African countries to supply this surface-to-air missile system.


“Tor-M2E is also quite effective system. It was exported extensively. Now we offer a container variant. The pilot model with the Indian manufactured undercarriage of this system was presented at MAKS show. Tor can protect against all air weapons including high-precision weapons”, said Said Aminov.


According to Vyacheslav Davydenko, Rosoboronexport’s spokesman not only India but also other countries choose Russian air defense systems. Such systems as Tor-M2E and Pantsir are new and in the immediate future there will be no question as to their improvement or replacement.


Experts say that if there are orders for the supply of more than 52 systems, then it will be possible to consider the licensed production of certain kinds of Russian weapons in India. As a matter of fact the experience of supplying T-90 tanks and multipurpose Su-30 MKI jets show that this can be possible.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:30
Israeli F-16I Fighters Resume Training

18/9/2013 IsraelDefense


Training resumes two months after the F-16I "Sufa" aircraft were grounded due to a malfunction that forced two air crewmembers to abandon their aircraft off the coast of Gaza


The Israeli Air Force's F-16I "Sufa" squadron has resumed training after being grounded for two weeks to an aircraft crashing near the coast of Gaza in July, when two air crewmembers were forced to abandon the aircraft and were rescued by IDF rescue unit 669.


The first training took place at the Ramon base and included practice of air-to-air combat basics, combat in complex scenarios while using smart armaments and practicing aerial refueling.


The technical branch of the Sufa squadrons is additionally striving to prepare the aircraft for sorties in a short period of time after a two month recess.


In the past few months, there has been an investigation into the events of the accident, during which the engine of the aircraft shut down during flight, resulting in the air crew abandoning the aircraft according to procedure and their subsequent rescue. According to the results of the investigation, a technical malfunction in the aircraft engine is what apparently led to the engine shutting down.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:30
GDLS to convert additional Saudi Abrams tanks to M1A2S configuration

Two M1A2 Abrams tanks of the Saudi Arabian Army


23 September 2013 army-technology.com


General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has received a contract for conversion of additional M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) configuration for Saudi Arabia.


Awarded by the US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Lifecycle Management Command (LCMC) on behalf of the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), the $187.5m contract covers conversion of additional 44 M1A1 and 40 M1A2 Abrams tanks.


The latest foreign military sales (FMS) contract also continues the work initiated by the company in 2008 to update M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S configuration, which improves its efficiency and operational capability.


An upgraded version of the US Army and Marine Corps' M1A1 MBT, the M1A2 Abrams is designed to engage and attack enemy forces using enhanced firepower, manoeuvrability and shock effect in the battlefield.


Integrated with manually loaded 120mm M256 smoothbore cannon, the tank can fire a multitude of different rounds, such as M865 TPCSDS-T and M831 TP-T training ammunition against enemy armoured vehicles, soldiers and low-flying aircraft.


Offering enhanced protection to a crew of four, the tank features a gunner primary sight, new Block I second generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) technology, an eye-safe laser range finder and a blue force tracking (BFT) system for improved effectiveness in the battlefield.


Upgrade work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at the company's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion in March 2015.


General Dynamics spokesman Rob Doolittle was quoted by Reuters as saying that the contract is one of several foreign and domestic awards the company was hoping to secure to ensure continued work at the Lima facility.


GDLS also secured $132.7m and $40m FMS contracts in January and April 2013, for supply of additional M1A2S tanks to the Saudi Arabian Army.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

Sep 23, 2013 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


The U.S. Air Force’s  Air Logistics Complex (ALC) at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah, hosted a ceremony today marking the arrival of the first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]  F-35 Lightning II aircraft to a depot facility.


The aircraft ferried from Nellis AFB, Nev., and will be the first Air Force F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant used in the Block 2B Operational Testing & Evaluation (OT&E) program in 2015. The aircraft will receive a series of structural and systems modifications at Ogden to enhance critical capabilities needed during OT&E testing. This marks the second depot opened this year. In July, the U.S. Marines welcomed the first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing variant at Cherry Point, N.C.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Boeing to Showcase New and Agile Solutions at Modern Day Marine

Sep 20, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


    Exhibit includes Phantom Badger high-performance tactical vehicle, Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb


Boeing is highlighting a diverse warfighting equipment portfolio – including an advanced high-performance tactical vehicle – during this year’s Modern Day Marine exposition.


The Marine Corps League event takes place Sept. 24-26 at U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico. Boeing will display the Phantom Badger, a combat support vehicle that is small enough to fit in a MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for transport.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Energy Dept. awards $30M for improved protection against cyberattacks

Sep 20, 2013 (UPI)


Washington - Eleven projects will share $30 million to help better protect the electric grid and oil-and-gas infrastructure from cyberattacks, U.S. energy officials said.


With support from the federal Energy Department, energy organizations in California, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington state will develop new systems, frameworks and services that help move forward the department's vision of more resilient energy delivery control systems, the Energy Department said Thursday in a release.


"Keeping the nation's energy flowing is vital to the safety and well-being of Americans, our economic prosperity, and modern society as a whole," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. "To meet the challenges of today's evolving cyber landscape, we must continue investing in innovative, state-of-the-art technologies."


The 11 projects, which will combine advanced expertise in power system engineering and cybersecurity, include testing of the new products to demonstrate their effectiveness and interoperability, Energy Department officials said. Energy delivery control systems are designed and operated specifically to control the physical processes that result in the delivery of continuous and reliable power.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Analysis: Industry concerned about US Navy UCLASS requirements

Sep. 23, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - Concerns are being raised within industry about the new direction mandated by the Pentagon for the US Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft programme.


The reason for the concern is because the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) has fundamentally altered the requirements for the UCLASS from a long-range penetrating strike platform to something akin to a modestly stealthy carrier-based Predator. “Where it leaves us is developing an alternative that meets the requirements that the navy has outlined,” says one industry source – which means spending even more company money after funding nearly three years of internal research and development designing an aircraft without any guidance from the USN.


“This looks like a giant runaway for General Atomics and Predator, I would not be surprised if the other companies ‘no-bid,’” says Dan Goure, an analyst at the Lexington Institute. Companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have spent a large sum of their own money on UCLASS and may not want to dump even more money into what amounts to a stacked deck, he says.


“It does damage to an industrial base that is already fragile,” Goure adds.


Congress is also concerned about the direction of the USN acquisition strategy, which has been described as “atypical”. In a letter to navy secretary Ray Mabus, congressmen Randy Forbes and Mike McIntyre – chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s sea power subcommittee respectively – question the service’s plan to field four carrier air wings worth of UCLASS aircraft before the completion of operational testing or even a formal “Milestone B” decision to enter engineering and manufacturing development.


This is a concern shared by some in industry. “I have had similar concerns regarding the navy trying to procure one to four carriers worth of UCLASS aircraft for early operational capability as part of a technology demonstration phase that is pre-Milestone B,” says another industry source. “The only type of technology development programme which results in ‘residual operational assets or capabilities’ used to be called a JCTD [Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration] – which the UCLASS programme is not.”


However, more fundamentally for the industry, both industry sources concur that the USN has deviated significantly from the normal process for developing a new aircraft. Typically, the industry would have been developing solutions over the past two years based on an initial set of navy-issued requirements. Those specifications would have been refined and updated as needed, based on various industry-informed trade studies, both sources say. That procedure would likely have yielded more relevant industry investment, more affordable requirements and a better overall competition.


The USN, however, did not issue any aircraft performance specifications or draft requirements until the spring of 2013. That means that for nearly three years, industry teams have been developing potential UCLASS candidates using their own money and based on their own assumptions about the navy’s requirements, both sources agree. That means each competitor is now trying to “force-fit” their aircraft into the UCLASS preliminary design review phase – which is now requiring even more investment, one industry source says.


The lack of industry feedback has had some unforeseen consequences. Superficially, the shift to an aircraft designed for long-duration orbits over permissive airspace would appear to favour General Atomics, which builds the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. However, the current requirements are not as simple as they look, says one industry source. “They want to span the deck-cycle, the means the endurance has to be greater than 12h,” he says. “From a carrier that’s pretty significant because you have limitations on wing-span just because of the carrier environment.”


Fundamentally from an engineering standpoint, to achieve better endurance, the aircraft must have a higher aspect ratio wing – which means a longer wing-span. However, on board a carrier, the wing-span is limited to about the same length as a Northrop X-47B. The absolute maximum is probably 70ft (21m), which means – by necessity – weight reduction is the key to meeting the USN’s new requirements.


“If you were allowed to refuel in the air then you might actually have a much broader performance spectrum,” the source says. “With that gone, you’re into designing as light a weight structure as can survive the carrier environment and hold as much fuel as you can.


Although the navy says that the UCLASS is going to be designed to operate in “permissive and low-end contested environments”, one industry source says that the low-observable requirement was not completely removed. “I don’t think the survivability requirements are trivial,” he says. However, he concedes that “the overwhelming design driver now is endurance without refueling”.


An aircraft carrier would be expected to deploy enough UCLASS aircraft to maintain two orbits about 600nm (1,110km) distance from the ship, or maintain a single orbit at a range of 1,200nm. If the UCLASS were called on to conduct a light strike mission, it could attack lightly defended targets at a distance of 2,000nm. As currently envisioned, the UCLASS will have a total payload of 1,360kg (3,000lb), of which only 454kg would consist of air-to-ground weapons.


Either a flying-wing or wing-body tail configuration could meet the requirements, the industry source says. However, the endurance requirement is strenuous enough that the source says that he is not sure that a turbofan engine is a “viable option”.


Boeing and General Atomics appear to have selected a wing-body tail design, while Lockheed Martin has disclosed its RQ-170-derived flying-wing concept. Presumably, the Northrop design will resemble its X-47B demonstrator.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Does Anyone Care About the Fate of the US Military?

September 23rd, 2013 By Lexington institute - defencetalk.com


It’s official. The leadership of this country including the major media outlets have lost their collective minds. Yesterday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the House Armed Services Committee that if sequestration continues, they could not say with confidence that the U.S. military could successfully handle even one serious conflict!


Not a war on the Korean Peninsula, a conflict over the Strait of Hormuz, the defense of Japan or Taiwan from attack or even meet our obligations under the NATO Treaty to defend Europe.


According to BreakingDefense, “each of the Joint Chiefs was asked by Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the HASC seapower and power projection forces subcommittee, if they could execute the military’s basic Strategic Planning Guidance, which requires that U.S. forces be able to handle one enemy and to deter another. Down the line he went. Odierno: no; Greenert: no; Welsh: no. Amos, yes, but.”


So the Army, Navy and Air Force leaders all said they will not be able to meet the basic requirement for the U.S. military. The Marine Corps Commandant, General Amos said “yes, but”; however his service’s mission is so different from the rest. Moreover, without adequate support from his brothers in arms, the yes is irrelevant.


Was this story on the front page of the nation’s major newspapers? No.


Was it a lead story by the morning television news programs? It was not.


Did talk radio bring it up? Not as far as I could tell, channel surfing today.


America is disarming and no one, including the Commander in Chief, seems to care. Remember, sequestration was a White House idea. When his military commanders tell Congress they will not be able to defend this country if sequestration continues, you would think it would be worth at least a mention by President Obama. Nope.


Actually, this is not quite true. Our current and future enemies care. They are waiting for us to sink into the depths of budget insanity. Then they will have clear paths to achieving their goals, be it reunification of the Korean Peninsula on Pyongyang’s terms, dominance by Beijing of Asia, control of the strategic Persian Gulf by Iran or the recreation of the Russian empire.


Our current allies care. Don’t think for minute that Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Taiwan and half a dozen other countries won’t see the collapse of the U.S. military and the de facto termination of U.S. security guarantees as reason enough to acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Northeast Asia alone could have five or six nuclear powers before the decade is over. That should give everyone in Washington a warm feeling, right?


By the way, if the U.S. military cannot say with confidence that they could win even one major conventional conflict that would leave this country with only two options: surrender or nuclear deterrence. We would have to go back to the bad old days of Massive Retaliation. It means modernizing aging and obsolescing strategic and theater nuclear forces, abandoning current arms control agreements in order to increase both the size and sophistication of our new nuclear force structure and living again under the sword of Damocles.


Anyone want to talk about what the Joint Chiefs just said? Anyone care about the impending implosion of the U.S. Military? Anyone want to end the madness and find a solution to sequestration? Apparently not.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:12
Le nouveau patron du service Action de la DGSE

23 Septembre 2013 par Frédéric Pons – V.A.


Le nouveau patron du service Action de la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure est l’un des meilleurs colonels de sa génération, Nicolas Le Nen, 47 ans. Saint-Cyrien, Le Nen a commandé le prestigieux 27e bataillon de chasseurs alpins.


Engagé en Afghanistan de décembre 2008 à juin 2009, il en a rapporté la Bronze Star américaine, qui distingue un acte héroïque, et une citation pour sa « Task Force Tiger ». Réputé pour son charisme et son sens tactique, Le Nen a écrit, en collaboration avec d’autres officiers, des livres de référence sur la guerre en montagne et la contre-insurrection (à paraître aussi en octobre : Le vent d’Alasay). Dans une interview de décembre 2012, il faisait cette remarque sur la guerre de Libye : « Ce que doivent avant tout les dirigeants politiques à leurs concitoyens, c'est un but de guerre qui soit légitime… Décider rapidement est nécessaire, mais décider sur une base stratégique cohérente est indispensable. »

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:55
Six unités récompensées pour leur engagement en Afghanistan

23/09/2013 Armée de l'Air


Jeudi 19 septembre 2013, le général Denis Mercier, chef d’état-major de l’armée de l’air, a présidé une cérémonie de remise de la Croix de la Valeur militaire à des unités de l’armée de l’air engagées en Afghanistan.


Le groupe de ravitaillement en vol 2/91 « Bretagne » a été cité à l’ordre de la division aérienne avec attribution de la Croix de la Valeur militaire avec étoile d’argent. L’escadrille aéro-sanitaire 6/560 « Étampes », l’escadron d’hélicoptères (EH) 1/67 « Pyrénées » et les commandos parachutistes de l’air (CPA) n°10, 20 et 30 ont, quant à eux, été cités à l’ordre de l’armée aérienne avec attribution de la Croix de la Valeur militaire avec palme de bronze.


L’EH 1/67 « Pyrénées » et les trois CPA ont ainsi reçu symboliquement la fourragère aux couleurs de la Croix de la Valeur militaire.


Pour en savoir plus, consultez les attributions pour chacune des unités.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:50
CE13: Learning through Partnership

September 22, 2013 eucom.mil


U.S. ARMY GARRISON GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Learning through partnership is key to most joint training exercises and Combined Endeavor 2013 is no different.


The world's largest command, control, communications and computers (C4) exercise, Combined Endeavor, brings communications experts from 40 coalition partnership nations to one location for the primary purpose of building coalition information sharing operations.


For 18 years, Combined Endeavor has enhanced joint multinational partnership solutions in the C4 realm by promoting information dominance. One delegation member said he was looking forward to gaining more insight through CE13 and building partnerships in the process.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
A Gao, Jean-Yves Le Drian confirme le maintien d’un millier de soldats français au Mali

23 septembre 2013 Par RFI


Jean Yves Le Drian, le ministre français de la Défense est au Mali. Il était à Gao, la grande ville du Nord, où il a rencontré une délégation de la Misma, la force des Nations Unies. Il a confirmé que la France gardera, à terme, un millier de soldats au Mali.


Dans le camp militaire français de Gao, les troupes françaises sont au garde à vous, face au ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, tandis que résonne l’hymne national de leur pays.


C’est la troisième fois qu’il vient ici à Gao, pour voir ces troupes. Messages de félicitations, et de vigilance, également : on continue en effet toujours à découvrir des caches d’armes, de munitions, appartenant aux jihadistes. C’est pourquoi, désormais, la France aura trois missions principales sur le terrain.


La France se donne trois missions au Mali


«D’abord, faire en sorte que la Minusma se développe, s’installe, soit soutenue, soit respectée, soit reconnue et accomplisse sa mission», pose Jean-Yves Le Drian. « Deuxièmement, il nous faudra continuer à aider les forces maliennes à se reconstruire. Puis, troisièmement, nous, vous, vos successeurs, devront continuer à assurer cette garantie de sécurité que vous représentez. Et donc, nous garderons au Mali un millier de soldats, sur la durée... », a-t-il confirmé. 


(RE)LIRE : Les défis d’IBK à la tête du Mali


Ce lundi Jean-Yves Le Drian se rend à Koulikoro, à cinquante kilomètres de Bamako, où des instructeurs européens organisent des cycles de formation à l’intention des militaires maliens.


La veille, lors des célébrations du 53e anniversaire de l’indépendance du Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Traoré avait cité, parmi ses priorités, la nécessité de rebâtir une véritable armée malienne. « Nous avons besoin d'une armée mieux équipée », a-t-il notamment déclaré lors d’une intervention télévisée.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
Tunisia Requests F-5 Avionics Upgrade

September 23rd, 2013 By US Defense Security Cooperation Agency - defencetalk.com


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on September 18 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Tunisia of F-5 avionics upgrades and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $60 million.


The Government of Tunisia has requested a possible sale of Block 1 Avionics Upgrades on Tunisia’s fleet of 12 F-5 aircraft. The upgrade includes 12 LN-260 Standard Positioning System Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS), Control Display Unit, Electrical Power, and Environmental Control System, repairs, Material Condition Inspection, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $60 million.


This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country in North Africa.


The proposed sale will improve Tunisia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense, as well as support counter-terrorism operations. These systems will bolster Tunisia’s ability to continue supporting its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism and border security operations. Tunisia, which already has F-5 aircraft in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing this service and support into its armed forces.


The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.


The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman of St. Augustine, Florida. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of up to 23 U.S. contractor representatives to Tunisia for approximately two years.


There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.


This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
«Un même ennemi» est combattu au Mali et au Kenya, estime le Président malien

22/09/2013 à 12h31 -- 20minutes.fr


«Je constate que le terrorisme est un élément qui menace l’Afrique, et pas seulement au Mali». En voyage officiel au Mali à l’occasion de la fête nationale, le ministre français de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian a réagi ce dimanche matin à l’attaque d’un centre commercial au Kenya perpétrée par des islamistes shebab.


«Je constate que le terrorisme est un élément qui menace l’Afrique, et pas seulement au Mali», a-t-il expliqué à l’envoyé spécial de 20 Minutes à Bamako. Le Président du Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a quant à lui exprimé «[s]on horreur et [s]a révolte» après cette attaque. «C'est proprement criminel et lâche. Cela n'a pas de sens.» Ces terroristes sont «des fous, et même pas des fous de Dieu. Ces sont des drogués, des déglingués», a-t-il ajouté.


Questionné par 20 Minutes pour savoir si c'était le même ennemi qui était combattu au Kenya et au Mali, le Président malien a répondu: «Oui, c'est le même ennemi».


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:45
La filière des djihadistes américains en Somalie

23/09/2013 Par Georges Malbrunot – LeFigaro.fr


Selon CNN, plusieurs Américains figureraient parmi les assaillants du centre commercial Westgate de Nairobi, confirmant ainsi la place importante que jouent les djihadistes américains au sein des Chebab somaliens.

Trois ressortissants américains figureraient parmi la quinzaine d'islamistes somaliens qui retiennent encore des otages dans le centre commercial Westgate de Nairobi, deux jours après l'avoir attaqué et tué au moins 68 clients de ce centre commercial très fréquenté de la capitale kenyane.


Interrogé, John Kerry, le secrétaire d'Etat, n'a cependant pas confirmé ces informations de CNN. Un homme présenté par la BBC comme un «commandant» des Chebab a également démenti lundi que des étrangers figuraient parmi les assaillants.


Une chose est sûre: les Chebab somaliens comptent plusieurs Américains parmi eux. Pas plus tard que la semaine dernière, l'un d'entre eux, Omar Shafik Hammami, alias Abou Mansour al-Amriki (Mansour l'Américain) a été tué dans un affrontement avec d'ex-compagnons d'armes avec lesquels il s'était brouillé.


Abou Mansour, né dans l'Alabama il y a 29 ans, était l'un des combattants étrangers de Somalie les plus connus. Le département d'Etat offrait cinq millions de dollars pour sa capture. Abou Mansour était en fait la vitrine occidentale des Chebab, celui qui devait attirer d'autres étrangers vers la rébellion islamiste somalienne.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
photo Saab

photo Saab

Sept. 23, 2013 by Greg Waldron – FG


Singapore - Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has placed follow-on orders worth Swedish kronor (SKr) 216 million (US$34 million) with Saab for a self defence system to be deployed on the Dhruv helicopters.


The two orders cover serial production of the system for use aboard Dhruvs operated by the Indian army and air force, says Saab.


“Saab’s Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) protects crew and aircraft and enhances the survivability in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments,” says the Swedish company. “The system provides a timely warning against different types of threats including radar, laser and missile approach warning; and automatically deploys the appropriate countermeasures.”


The deals follow initial serial production orders dating from 2008. Saab will commence delivery of units covered under the new contracts in 2014.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Surface Forces : The Chinese Burke Goes To Sea

September September 22, 2013: Strategy Page


The first of the Chinese Type 052D destroyers has been recently seen on sea trials in the East China Sea. This new destroyer design appears very similar to the American Aegis equipped destroyers (especially the Burke Class). Three versions of the Type 052 destroyer has, in about a decade, advanced Chinese destroyer design considerably and China now has ships similar in capabilities to the 8,300 ton American Arleigh Burke class destroyers. This is currently the principal American destroyer. The Burke design is the culmination of over half a century of World War II and Cold War destroyer design experience. Even after the Burke was designed, in the 1980s, the design evolved. The first Burkes were 8,300 ton ships, while the latest ones, laden with more gear, and smaller crews, are 10,000 ton ships (what heavy cruisers weighed in World War II). With a top speed of nearly 50 kilometers an hour, their main armament is 90 vertical launch tubes flush with the deck, that can contain anti-aircraft, anti-ship, anti-missile or cruise missiles. There is also a 127mm (5 inch) gun, two 20mm anti-missile autocannon, six torpedo tubes and two helicopters. The Burkes were well thought out, sturdy and they got the job done. They became irreplaceable, and thus this class of warships will last more than half a century. China likes the sound of that is trying to match the Burkes.


Over the last decades two Type 052B and two Type 052C destroyers have entered service. These four ships appear to have been part of an effort to develop something similar to the U.S. Burkes. Not only is one 052D at sea, but three more are under construction and apparently the plan is to build at least eight. These appear to be 7,500 ton ships armed with 64 American style (hot launch) VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes for anti-aircraft (HQ-9), cruise of anti-ship missiles. There is a single 130mm gun, six torpedo tubes (for submarines), and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter hanger and landing platform.


The older (2004) Type 052B Guangzhou Class Destroyers are 5,900 ton general purpose ships (with anti-ship/submarine/aircraft capabilities). Armament consists of 48 HQ-16 anti-aircraft missiles (range 30 kilometers) and 16 C-802 anti-ship missiles (range 120 kilometers). There is a single 100mm gun and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter.


Type 052C Lanzhou Class Destroyers are 6,500 ton ships that first appeared in 2005. These ships use cold launch VLS (Vertical Launch System) tubes. There are 48 HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles. There are also eight C-602 anti-ship missiles, in two four-cell launchers. There is a single 100mm gun and two 30mm autocannon for anti-missile defense. There is also one helicopter. These ships are mainly for air defense and use a phased array radar similar to the American Aegis system.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
BK1060 35mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery

BK1060 35mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery

September 22, 2013: Strategy Page


China recently revealed a wheeled 8x8 anti-aircraft system equipped with a radar and a single 35mm autocannon. This was very similar to an earlier tracked version that contains the same radar and two 35mm autocannon. In both cases the gun appears to be a licensed copy of the Swiss Oerlikon 35mm autocannon. The tracked version weighs 34 tons while the wheeled version weighs about ten tons less and moves more quickly on roads and requires less maintenance.


The 35mm gun is a popular weapon for armored, self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery. Systems of this type were first developed in Europe. These fire 2.5 kg (5.5 pound) shells at the rate of 300 a minute. Max altitude is about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The 35mm projectiles weigh up to .75 kg (1.65 pounds). This AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) is still useful against helicopters and transports, and jets that are moving slowly over the battlefield.


The new Chinese wheeled 35mm system is another version of ZBL 09 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle. Recently China also showed off a version equipped with a small turret containing a 105mm gun, for providing direct fire support for troops. There was already an artillery version, carrying a 122mm howitzer in a larger turret. There are several other versions and the anti-aircraft version came as no surprise.


The basic ZBL 09 is a 21 ton vehicle that has a crew of three and carries seven passengers. The vehicle is 8 meters (25 feet) long, three meters (9.2 feet) wide, and 2.1 meters (6.5 feet, to the hull roof) high. It's amphibious and has a top water speed of 8 kilometers an hour. On roads, top speed is 100 kilometers an hour, and max road range on internal fuel is 800 kilometers. The infantry carrier version has a turret with a 30mm autocannon. There are also artillery versions carrying either a 105mm or 122mm howitzer.


The ZBL 09 entered service in 2009, and some combat brigades are being equipped with it, to operate somewhat like the American Stryker brigades. China has been developing new wheeled armored vehicles for over a decade. Until recently, these were all based on Russian designs. The ZBL 09, however, borrows more ideas from the West. Still, some of the more recent (five years ago) Russian type designs were interesting and instructive.


The Chinese have been observing NATO success in Iraq with the Stryker and LAV wheeled combat vehicles. Chinese designers eventually concluded that the roomier internal layout of Western vehicles did serve a useful purpose, and the ZBL 09, and all the electronics installed in it, are an example of what the Chinese learned. Producing a wheeled anti-aircraft version of the ZBL 09 makes sense for the Chinese as they are creating mobile infantry brigades equipped with the various models of the ZBL 09. These “Stryker” brigades are meant to move quickly over the newly built Chinese highways. Tracked vehicles move more slowly, tear up the roads and the vehicles require a lot more maintenance after long road marches.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Le nom du nouveau chasseur sera dévoilé demain, le F-15SE, seul candidat

Vol d`un avion prototype du F-15SE effectué en juillet 2010 aux Etats-Unis (Boeing)


2013/09/23 yonhapnews.co.kr


SEOUL, 23 sept. (Yonhap) -- Dans le cadre du plan d’acquisition du nouvel avion de combat (F-X) qui remplacera les F-4 et F-5 de l’armée de l’air, l’Administration du programme d’acquisition de défense (DAPA) va soumettre son dossier d’examen final, avec comme seul candidat le F-15 Silent Eagle de Boeing, lors de la réunion de la Commission du projet de défense qui aura lieu demain et qui révèlera le nom définitif du retenu.


Parmi les trois candidats de cet appel d’offres d’un budget de 8.300 milliards de wons (7,2 milliards de dollars), à savoir le F-15SE de Boeing, le F-35 de Lockheed Martin et l’Eurofighter d’EADS, seul celui du Boeing a répondu à la limite budgétaire fixée par le gouvernement et la DAPA a rapporté ce résultat au palais présidentiel le 13 septembre dernier et va soumettre demain le dossier du F-15SE à la commission qui va conclure la procédure de sélection.


La commission sera dirigée par le ministre de la Défense, Kim Kwan-jin, et ses membres évalueront la pertinence du candidat final dans ce projet d’acquisition de 60 avions de chasse de Boeing entre 2017 et 2021. La Corée du Sud a acheté le même nombre de F-15K en 2002. Un responsable de la DAPA a confirmé le 17 septembre dernier qu’«il reste la dernière étape de ce projet d’acquisition du nouvel avion de chasse, nous allons rapporter à la commission le sujet de la sélection de l’avion et le résultat des examens».


Il a par ailleurs confirmé qu’«il n’est pas possible de faire demi-tour pour relancer le projet de son point de départ afin de ne pas avoir de trou dans la ligne de défense aérienne». Ces propos sont liés aux critiques concernant la présence d’un seul candidat au sein de l’opinion publique et parmi notamment 15 anciens chefs d’état-major de l’armée de l’air qui ont demandé le 12 septembre dernier le choix d’un avion furtif au lieu de sélectionner le F-15SE.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:35
Army proposes keeping 200 troops in Helmand after 2014

22 Sep 2013 By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent


Military leaders are pushing a plan to keep up to 200 British troops in Helmand after the pullout of Nato combat forces from Afghanistan next year, The Telegraph has learnt.


The proposal is the first official acknowledgment that Britain could keep forces in the province where nearly 450 troops have died in seven years of fighting.


Senior commanders are concerned the fledgling Afghan army will not be ready to face the Taliban on its own by the end of next year and a total pullout from Helmand risks squandering years of hard work.


They also worry a reluctance to draw up plans for Helmand after 2014 is undermining Afghan forces’ morale and weakening British influence in Kabul.


The proposal would see up to 200 British troops stay at Camp Bastion to work as advisers at the headquarters of the province’s Afghan army corps, senior military sources said.


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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:30
Air Force Commander General Akin Ozturk

Air Force Commander General Akin Ozturk

Sept 22, 2013 Spacewar.com (AFP)


Ankara - Turkey's air force on Sunday paid tribute to the crew who shot down a Syrian military helicopter which it said had violated Turkish airspace.


Air Force Commander General Akin Ozturk has "honoured the personnel who applied rules of engagement toward a Syrian helicopter which refused to leave the airspace last week despite warnings," the air force command said in a statement.


Turkish warplanes on Monday downed the Syrian helicopter which Ankara said was detected two kilometres (about a mile) inside Turkish airspace.


Turkey changed its rules of engagement after the downing of one of its fighter jets by the Syrian air force in June 2012.


The government had warned that any military approach from Syria on the Turkish border would be considered a threat.


Relations between once close allies Damascus and Ankara have deteriorated since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in March 2011.


The long and volatile border between the two countries has become increasingly tense, with a number of incidents in the area, which prompted NATO to station Patriot missile batteries there for defencive purposes.

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
An MH-60S Knighthawk approaches the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge in this Feb. 2013 photo. Tamara Vaughn U.S. Navy

An MH-60S Knighthawk approaches the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge in this Feb. 2013 photo. Tamara Vaughn U.S. Navy

WASHINGTON, 22 sept 2013 marine-oceans.com  (AFP)


Un hélicoptère MH-60, qui avait décollé d'un destroyer d'escorte du porte-avions USS Nimitz déployé en mer Rouge en prévision d'éventuelles frappes contre la Syrie, s'est abîmé dimanche en mer, a annoncé la Marine américaine.


Trois des cinq membres d'équipage ont été récupérés et étaient dans un état stable tandis que les recherches se poursuivaient pour les deux autres, a précisé le commandement de la Ve flotte américaine basé à Bahreïn.


Cinq navires, des hélicoptères et des avions du groupe aéronaval du Nimitz participaient aux recherches, ainsi que des embarcations légères.


Les circonstances de l'accident n'ont pas été précisées, l'US Navy assurant toutefois qu'il n'était "pas dû à une quelconque activité hostile".


Le MH-60 Knighthawk, version marine du célèbre Blackhawk, avait décollé du destroyer William-Lawrence, l'un quatre navires d'escorte du porte-avions Nimitz.


Le Nimitz, qui emporte près de 80 avions et hélicoptères, et son escorte venaient de terminer un déploiement de plusieurs mois dans la région du Golfe et amorçaient leur retour vers la côte ouest américaine quand il ont été redéployés fin août en mer Rouge en raison de la crise syrienne.


Les trois destroyers et le croiseur d'escorte du Nimitz emportent chacun des dizaines de missiles de croisière Tomahawk, susceptibles d'être utilisés en cas de frappes contre le régime de Bachar al-Assad.

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